Yoga retreats can be inspiring, rejuvenating, life changing…and budget breaking. I have indulged on classes with high profile teachers, only to discover that I would have been able to grow more if I allowed myself some extra time with my favorite teachers at home.
You can create an at-home retreat that feels like a mini-vacation. The key is to make some time that is dedicated to being indulgent. A long weekend dedicated to yourself and your practice can feed your soul. You can truly be there for others if you are in the right place physically and emotionally.
1. Do your chores in advance.
Prepare for your yoga retreat at home as if you were going away. This IS NOT the time to mow the lawn, although if you adore gardening, you can spend a little time getting your hands dirty.
2. Become inaccessible.
This is a hard one for a lot of people. Turn off your phone, don’t check your e-mail, hide your car, and avoid interruption. This time is for you!
3. Plan to follow a schedule, but allow some free time.
This is important, because the structure of a retreat optimizes the experience. I suggest 1-3 hour blocks of time.
4. Do at least 2 yoga practices each day.
Hit your favorite studio or try a new one. Consider trying a new style, or schedule some private instruction with your favorite teacher. Your yoga retreat at home can also include yoga practice at home. Self-guided practice and online yoga videos are both great.
5. Cook healthy meals, or don’t cook at all.
If you love to cook, then feel free to cook your own food, spending time to research recipes and gather ingredients in advance. I hate cooking and it really stresses me out. If you’re like me, money spent at the local juice bar or on healthy takeout will be well worth the investment. Consider a meal with that friend who is a positive influence in your life.
6. Take long walks.
If you have access to local parks, beaches, trails or nature preserves, go to those places. While you’re there, find a quiet place to meditate or do a few yoga poses. A change in scenery doesn’t have to be far from home.
7. Take time to write.
I recommend journaling, but any type of writing, music, or art that allows you to express your feelings and emotions is appropriate. All of this yoga and quiet time can bring out things that may need to be expressed.
8. Curl up with a good book.
If you’re not a big reader, audio books or inspirational podcasts can be great choices. This should feel like a little getaway, not like a chore.
9. Take a nice bath or two.
Light candles, play soft music, and use scented oils or bubble bath.
10. Consider spa time.
Schedule a massage, mani-pedi, or facial. This can be done at home or at an actual spa. If you’re staying at home, play music, light scented candles, and set up a relaxing environment.
At-home retreats can be planned solo, with a loved one, or with your best friend. They can be for a single day, a long weekend, or maybe even for a full week. After you’re finished, you will feel rejuvenated, restored, and renewed. I recommend doing this whenever you need a fresh outlook.